Mary Mohs (copy)

Mary Mohs

Mary Mohs was probably the most nonpartisan partisan I had the pleasure of knowing during nearly all my time in Madison.

I knew her as chair of Wisconsin's Second District Republicans and vice chair of Dane County's Republican Party and followed with interest her role at the Republican National Convention in Dallas back in 1984 when Ronald Reagan was nominated for a second term

But I also knew her as one of the most outgoing and accommodating people to grace our community. She didn't care your political affiliation; she could be friends with everyone. This petite and sprightly woman and her husband Fred opened the doors of their home on Mansion Hill to folks with all manner of causes, herself serving on the boards of several Madison nonprofits, ranging from the fine arts to Badger athletics. She'd regularly sponsor fundraisers at the Mohs home on Wisconsin Avenue where her hospitality became legendary.

Her own causes included Wisconsin Public Television, the Madison Landmarks Commission, the Madison Symphony Orchestra, the Humane Society and, yes, Planned Parenthood, among countless others that benefitted from her generosity over the years.

Mary sat in front of me at Badger basketball games since the opening of the Kohl Center, where she dressed in Wisconsin red and white and sometimes expressed her indignation at the refereeing. She always seemed to have boundless energy, and her love for the UW dated back to her very active student days. She graduated from the School of Music with a major in piano in 1959 and became one of Madison's better known pianists, both teaching children and playing professionally.

Mary passed away last week at the age of 85, although the last time I saw her at a crucial basketball game only a couple of seasons ago she still looked like she was 45.

There are few people who have spread cheer and nurtured friendships like she did. We're all going to miss her.

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I saw a posting on one of those neighborhood blog sites the other day that ought to be passed along to folks out there who are on Medicare. Scammers constantly try to trick people into giving them personal information to defraud innocent people.

Pat Franklin of Monona wasn't going to fall for it, but she was curious how far they would go.

She wrote, "I received a call supposedly from Medicare asking if I had received my new Medicare card in the last week or if I hadn’t received it yet?

"(The man) said the old card was being replaced. He knew my name, address and birthdate. Then he wanted my doctor's name. NO. I said I knew this was a scam because Medicare doesn’t call people. Every time I said this I was instantly talking to a higher-up person who said I was wrong, it’s not a scam.

"The third person was then trying to get the number under my name. I said I wasn’t giving any info to him. If he was from Medicare he would already have that info. They keep trying and trying by asking you questions.

"He asked if I had caller ID and what it showed. I said just a phone number. He asked me to hang up and he would call right back. Assumed he would call with Medicare name spoofed but it didn’t work as only a four code number showed on top of the phone number.

"I didn’t answer but just wanted to warn others again — MEDICARE DOES NOT CALL PEOPLE."

That's a good reminder.

Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. dzweifel@captimes.com, 608-252-6410 and on Twitter @DaveZweifel.  

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